3D Printer HardwareAdditive Mass Production - AMPIndustrial Additive ManufacturingProduct Launch

Blackbelt 3D Launches Continuous FDM 3D Printer for Large Parts

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New 3D printing market entry BlackBelt 3D launched a new type of industrial production machine:The BLACKBELT 3D printer brings new standards to the 3D printing industry including the ability to print continuously one part after the other, print extremely long parts, and print specific designed overhangs without additional support material.

Over the past years, FDM 3D printers have developed to reliable working production units, essential for many companies. Many components of the BLACKBELT 3D Printer are standard 3D architecture, using the most established and reliable parts. Assemblies like the X-Y-actuation system hasn’t changed a lot, compared to existing 3D printers, it only has been slanted by a specific angle.

With the Blackbelt, a high-precision conveyor belt becomes the new Z-Axis and print platform, which moves horizontally with every new layer. The conveyor belt is made from carefully selected and well tested carbon fiber composite, allowing the print to adhere on and to position it precisely. The idea behind the entire concept was to make an FDM 3D printer as easy to use as a 2D printer that prints on paper: You simply start up the print job, and the print comes out of the machine!

Depending on print material, environment or printing geometry, the BLACKBELT 3D printer can be modified individually to adapt to the customer’s needs. Using BOSCH Alu profiles for the frame construction makes it easy to adapt the printer to any industrial or desktop environment. Stainless steel sheet-metal parts are bringing precision and rigidity to the frame construction. The BlackBelt 3D Printer comes with 3 print heads, having different nozzle diameters, that are user friendly and fail safe to exchange. No unscrewing of hot nozzles anymore!

The machine is available as a desktop version and a stand-alone version. Last one can be used with an optional downstream roller table to support extremely long products when printing. The open build volume allows us to produce prints of theoretically endless length. The Gantry allows building products of 340 x 340mm in x and y direction. For prints of 1300mm or longer, we recommend using the roller table to provide additional support while the printing process.

After finishing a print, the machine is instantly ready for the next part, which makes it suitable for series production of same or individual parts. Is not necessary to remove the prints manually, simply put a container in front of the printer and it will collect the finished prints.

By printing under a specific angle, it is possible to produce support-free overhangs on slanted geometry. To prevent the machine from printing in the air, some parts or designs require a starting geometry.  The BLACKBELT 3D Printer must start every new geometry on the conveyor belt, or onto a previous layer. Otherwise, it will extrude build material into the air, producing so called “Spaghetti”.

The picture above is a side view of a jet plane that needs to be printed. The hatching indicates the layering. When the printer starts building up the model at the tip, it would extrude material into the air. That’s why it is essential to add a starting geometry (red).

BlackBelt 3D offers the user new possibilities that standard XYZ printers cannot deliver.  New shapes are possible, meaning new design guidelines for users of the BLACKBELT 3D Printer.  A good start of a print requires a direct beginning on the conveyor belt. This is our first design rule; from there, the part can go up (y direction) or towards the machine (z direction).  Many geometries that need support when being printed with the traditional method under horizontal layers, can be produced now without any support material, saving time and building material.

However, not all shapes can be printed without any supporting geometry. New material can be placed either on the conveyor belt or on already printed material. That’s why some shapes require a starting geometry in order to build them up properly.  The printing angle in those examples is 45°, which works for most objects.

However, some geometries require a lower angle. Changing the printing angle allow different shapes printing better: If it is necessary to print overhangs that tilt away from the machine, a lower angle can be used. Downside is, that overhangs that incline toward the machine will print with a worse surface.  In essence: The BlackBelt 3D user must first be able to understand the design rules for parts to be produced on this platform. The team of BlackBelt 3D is ready to support our users with our experience and CAD support to get the most efficiency out of the platform.

Tech specs of the Blackbelt 3D printer:

  • Interchangeable print heads
  • Industrial linear guides
  • Building volume: 340 x 340 x ∞ mm (13” x 13”x ∞”)
  • Print angle adjustable: 15°/ 25°/ 34°/ 45°
    • 45° is by default, some parts come out better at lower angles.
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Print heads: nozzle sizes 0.4/ 0.6/ 0.8 mm come with the printer.
    Further sizes will be available.
  • Retail Prize: 9.500.- EUR Desktop version
  • 12.500.- EUR with standing frame and roller table
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Anthony Lowder

Anthony has been following the industry since 2010. He works with the editorial team and is responsible for co-ordinating and publishing digital content on our international website. As well as following the tech landscape, he is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and music producer.

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